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Everything posted by CruisingWalter

  1. Yes actually you should be able to do this, but it generally requires a release from the original travel agency. You need to do this within 30 days of the booking and you need to talk to your new travel advisor for the procedure. Again, it requires a release from the original travel agency and they are under no obligation to do this. If you purchase another NextCruise certificate onboard, you need to make sure it's assigned to your new TA not the old one. Be sure to get all of the necessary information from them before you go on the cruise.
  2. From the cruise line perspective, what the agent said is correct. You made a passenger swap, that's not a cancellation. If it was a cancellation, i.e. the cabin was cancelled, you would have been subject to a 100% Cancellation Fee. If Royal Caribbean did not issue a Cancellation Fee to you, then there is no claim to be filed. That's why the claim was denied by the insurance carrier. For your situation, it would have needed to have been an independent insurance policy that specifically covered your daughter. BUT you still might have needed cancellation fees from Royal Caribbean to file an independent claim. In this situation you are caught in that 'grey area' where one person cancelled, but the cruise itself wasn't cancelled. You made a passenger swap and a TA would have been able to explain that situation for you at that time. They would have made you aware that this was not a 'cancellation' but a passenger swap. Hopefully you'll have a good one moving forward. Sending positive vibes to you and your family for continued recovery for your daughter.
  3. Unfortunately, no 'automatic refund' if your daughter doesn't show up. Per the Cancellation Policy you would have been subject to the 100% cancellation penalty at the port. You would have been owed port fees and taxes back for the no-show person, but unfortunately nothing else. Very happy to hear your daughter is doing well!
  4. When you say you moved people around, does this mean you didn't actually cancel the cabin? That's usually the trigger for the cruise line travel insurance. I believe through RCCL the insurance covers the cabin itself. If you did not actually cancel any cabins, that would be a reason for your insurance to be denied. That's from my general knowledge of how cruise line insurance works and may not apply to your situation. If a specific person cancelled their trip, they would have needed travel insurance on themselves through a third party and then would have to show the documents on how much they individually paid for the cruise.
  5. I believe wine by the bottle is only available in the restaurants and dining rooms, but I'm not entirely sure. But the drinks are pretty much $12 and up with a majority of them $14 and over. The pricing is more or less in line with all of the other cruise lines we've sailed. Virgin Voyages is a little better.
  6. Great review! It sounds like you set your expectations perfectly for this ship and this brand. While not perfect, the ship is a lot of fun. Really glad to hear the report about the kid's clubs. We talked to the cruise director staff about them but didn't know anyone who had children using them. Great to hear they were well received by your children. For Key West, you're right, no need to rent a golf cart unless you cannot walk long distances. Much easier to walk or hail a golf cart for a ride. Highly recommend DJ's Clam Shack for those visiting Key West. We're going on a big Islander group cruise in February and a bunch of us are already planning our walk to DJs and then some key lime pie. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!
  7. Get friendly with the cruise director staff. They are usually the folks who take guests into the speakeasy in the evenings.
  8. It is listed but I can't remember what they call it. It's usually out at least one time per day. We've seen it near the Social Club and out near the Vinyl store in the roundabout. You may also see the Boozy Bevs and Painting class that looks like a lot of fun. That's usually offered on longer voyages.
  9. Me too, we could not even use up the full $600 Tab we had for an 8 night Eastern Caribbean cruise. But we know folks who can really go through the Bar Tabs and they will be excited to see these higher level limits with the add-ons.
  10. Yes, that has been the standard offering and $300 was the top level you could purchase. Now you can purchase up to $1000 in one Bar Tab.
  11. Starting July 17 you'll have new options for Bar Tabs: Purchase $200 Bar Tab + $25 Extra for a total of $225 in drinks $300 Bar Tab + $50 Extra: $350 $500 Bar Tab + $100 Extra: $600 $750 Bar Tab + $175 Extra: $925 $1000 Bar Tab + $250 Extra: $1250 If you think $1250 Bar Tab sounds crazy remember you can share the bar tab and buy anyone a drink. So groups of friends or Sailors can collectively buy one Bar Tab and one have one or two people responsible for buying the drinks. Especially with these longer itineraries, these bar tabs can really be cool among friends. You'll be able to purchase these yourself or your TA can add them.
  12. The XL balconies are the same size, it's the room that is slightly bigger and the bathroom that is significantly larger than the standard rooms. The only thing to be aware of is that the XLs in the very front of the ship don't have hammocks due to the curve of the ship and lack of attachment points. And you may have the steel railing instead of the glass balcony wall.
  13. You can totally do that. Or if you work with a TA, just send the list to them, they can get into the booking engine and book all of your dinners in about 5 or 10 minutes. 🙂
  14. They probably will, but everything VV in terms of ground transportation and flights is more expensive than getting something yourself.
  15. With Gunbae as others have mentioned, it'll be communal. In some of the restaurants like Extra Virgin you can sit up at the bar for a 'group experience.' Or just get chatty with some of your fellow Sailors and join them for dinner. The daily activities are a great place to meet folks. You should have a really fun time on VV.
  16. The menu online is a sample menu. The menu you receive in the restaurant has the basic options you are looking for. You can definitely get pasta with the same sauce served with the braised meatballs.
  17. To my knowledge the pools never close except for rough seas. Other than the posted hours on the ship each day, but in general, the pools are open year round.
  18. GTY Insider means you will be assigned to any of the Insider categories as chosen by VV. It would be rare for VV to assign the social insider for 2 guests, but it could happen if all of the Insiders are already assigned.
  19. A lovely ship! We did a Panama Canal cruise with her. Easy to navigate being such a small ship, lovely pools and well appointed throughout. Bring large binder clips to hold down the shower curtain in your shower. She doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the newest ships, but she does have a lovely crew and more personalized attention because there are fewer passengers. I would not hesitate to book this ship or her sister Coral Princess.
  20. One you make final payment you are now into the cancellation schedule. So if you attempt to cancel and rebook, you will be subject to those rules and that schedule, meaning the fully refundable cruise fare up until final payment is now over. You can call to refare your cabin if you think there is a better price or your TA can do that, but understand that re-faring an already booked cabin works under different rules than someone booking the cabin for the first time. If you really want to take this cruise, make the final payment.
  21. You can, but they are so small you may not need to. They are waterproof so you can keep them on in the shower, the pool and at the beach.
  22. Good TAs stay up till midnight ET to book the dining times. Ours does. There has only been one time our TA could not make the bookings because their booking engine crashed. But otherwise we wake up in the morning and our reservations are already completed and in the app.
  23. Also know that VV is strict about boarding times. They will line up everyone in 'corrals' outside the terminal based on your check in time. So if you show up an hour or more before your check in time, you will be waiting outside the terminal until your check in group is called in.
  24. You call MAS or your TA can do it for you.
  25. Luggage Tags will be emailed to you or your TA can send them. There is a Beta App called Cruise Control on their website where you can set up your account. A Check In time will be assigned to you and be emailed to you a few weeks before the cruise. I HIGHLY recommend adding the $42 Express Pass to any booking that is not a suite. Islander is the largest ship to homeport in Tampa working out of the smallest terminal. There will be stops and delays getting into the terminal due to fire marshal regulations. Nothing MAS can do about that at the moment. Express Pass gets you towards the front of the line so you least you should have fewer stops outside. You can call MAS to pre-pay the gratuities or your TA can call for you. Muster drill is old school out on Deck 3. Took 10 minutes on our cruise. No biggie whatsoever and made us laugh at the throwback. Many of the vloggers who I've seen complaining about this are the same people I saw sitting out at the pool deck for hours on end. Standing outside for 10 - 15 minutes for a muster drill is 'horrible' and hot, but sitting in the sun for hours on the sundeck is fine? 😅
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